J'lem Arabs arrested for Hamas recon

Men were allegedly to receive weapons, explosives for attacks.

February 2, 2010 01:48
2 minute read.
Marad Namer, 25, from Sur Baher and Marad Kamal, 2

Jerusalem Hamas Arabs 311. (photo credit: Shin Bet [Israel Security Agency])


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Two Arabs from east Jerusalem were charged in a Jerusalem court on Monday for allegedly enlisting in Hamas and gathering intelligence on potential targets for terror attacks inside Israel, the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) revealed on Monday.

The two Israeli identity card holders – Marad Namer, 25, from Sur Bahir, and Marad Kamal, 24, of Joz – were arrested on January 3 in the Beersheba central bus station. They were allegedly in possession of digitized intelligence information pertaining to various places in the country that they had gathered on behalf of Hamas for planning terror attacks.

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During their interrogations, the two said that they had been recruited by Hamas in 2007 when they were living in Jordan and Dubai.

Upon their return to Israel, the two allegedly started collecting information on potential targets for Hamas terror attacks, including Jerusalem’s Malha Mall and central bus station, as well as nearby Mevaseret Zion and the hotel and beach area of Tel Aviv. The two also scouted out the IDF’s Tel Hashomer base, near Tel Aviv.

Namer was recruited into Hamas’s military wing as an engineering student in Jordan between 2003 and 2007. He traveled to Saudi Arabia for meetings with Hamas officials and at one point recruited his friend, Kamal, who was also studying in Jordan.

In 2008, Namer moved to Dubai, where he worked as an engineer and continued to maintain contact with Hamas officials, some of whom were in Turkey.

According to the investigation, Namer and Kamal returned to Israel in 2009 and immediately began collecting intelligence on Israeli targets. Security officials said the two had conducted their work thoroughly, taking pictures and videos and even preparing maps and sketches of the mall and bus station in Jerusalem. They also counted the number of average visitors, particularly soldiers, at each site and reviewed security measures.

They then stored the information on a flash drive and were supposed to transfer the material to representatives of Hamas headquarters in Damascus, officials said. At one point the two were also supposed to receive weaponry and explosives from their Hamas contacts, and located an empty cave in the Sataf nature reserve outside Jerusalem, which they expanded for the purpose of storing the contraband.

Security officials noted that the two used their Israeli identity cards to move freely within the country. The case, the officials said, underscores the efforts terror groups make to recruit Israeli Arab students studying overseas.

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